The majority of US travelers – 70 percent – believe Covid-19 vaccination passports should be required for international travel, according to a recent survey released by OAG, a leading global provider of digital flight information.
The survey was conducted among 1,800-plus US travelers in July and August.
Vaccination rates, especially given the fast-spreading Delta variant, are a crucial piece of the puzzle in international travel, the analysis says.
While vaccines remain a polarizing issue for people everywhere, vaccination appears to be very important for the majority of US travelers.
Eighty five percent of all travelers surveyed by OAG said they were fully vaccinated at the time of the survey.
Meanwhile, 68 percent of all survey respondents said they are interested in or want domestic vaccine passports, with 42 percent feeling strongly that domestic vaccine passports should be required.
OAG’s survey also found that only 15 percent of non-vaccinated individuals plan to get vaccinated before their next trip. Fifty percent said they won’t get vaccinated and 35 percent prefer not to say.
Mandates may not change the situation
Of those that said they were not yet vaccinated, 56 percent said they still wouldn’t get vaccinated even if the airline, airport, or destination required it to travel.
Only 9 percent said they would get vaccinated if it were required to travel. This stance will likely be put to the test sooner than later. Many airlines and countries are actively considering – and in the case of Qantas, several Canadian airlines, and vacation destinations like Turks and Caicos – requiring vaccinations to travel.
OAG expects more airlines and destinations to follow suit in the months ahead, especially if the Delta variant continues to spread at current levels.
Other takeaways from OAG’s research include:
- Domestic capacity in the US was up 81 percent during June – August 2021, compared to the same period last year.OAG’s survey indicates that the growth will continue: 70 percent of all consumers surveyed have already booked flights for the future
- While the revival of air travel has been strong, nearly a third of travelers (30 percent) remain grounded.
- Booking behavior remains erratic. Nearly half of travelers surveyed are still booking on short notice (between two weeks to a month in advance), and half are booking between two-six-plus months out
- The business travel outlook remains cloudy. Only 62 percent of business travelers said their company is planning air travel in the next 12 months
- Holiday travel is expected to bounce back in 2021. Of the 38 percent of travelers surveyed by OAG that said they typically fly for the holidays, only 40 percent of this group did so in 2020. This year, the percentage of that group who do intend to fly more than doubled (85 percent).